Research on phytoplankton in Antarctica
7/18/2019
Scientists from the University of Stellenbosch, along with international collaborators, will embark on a dangerous journey to Antarctica this week to conduct research on phytoplankton, a key part of the ocean ecosystem. Departing from Cape Town aboard the Agulhas 2, the scientists will, for the first time, be able to collect and study samples of the Southern Ocean in winter. Spanish Marine Biogeochemist, Dr. Jan-Lukas Menzel Barraqueta from the University of Stellenbosch, will form part of this expedition and says that they do not have data for winter, so it is important to close that gap of knowledge. They will try to understand how nutrients are trapped and released in the ice, which in turn impacts on the growth and bloom of phytoplankton. The Southern Ocean is the largest absorber of carbon dioxide and what happens there impacts all life on earth.
 
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